Writing a Song (without touching an instrument)

I like to consider myself a songwriter, although the creative spurts come and go through the years (during one three-year stretch, I was writing three to four songs every month). Many of my songs go forward to my band, The Sofa Kings. However, many songs don’t go much farther than the sun room of my house where I often compose.

This week, I started to tinker with a site called JamStudio and composed two songs: one for the band and one for my young son, who was playing in the room as I was writing the song and he asked me (in his three year old voice) if I would write the song for him. So I did. Yet, it felt very strange to be writing a song without having my guitar in my hands (I wrote this in one of my first Tweets, too) and I am am wondering how authentic an experience this really is as a musician and a composer.

I took the instrumentation from JamStudio and brought it into Audacity, where I then recorded my voice. Then, I used Creative Common photos from Flickr to create this little photo (with Photostory3). I converted the video to Shockwave, uploaded it to a video account I have and then moved it into my blog. One of the reasons is to keep getting practice with this process.

Anyway, here is the song and video, called In You:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://dc15.4shared.com/download/37411478/420c01f2/In_you__rowans_song_.swf" width="400" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Peace (in love and children),

  1. How wonderful this all is!!! Love the images that match your music. How clever to do it all without instruments. I am so glad I know you and really look forward to working with you this year. Photostory is still such a great software program, isn’t it? Did it take you long to compose and what did your three year old think? Bet he loved it too.

  2. Hi
    He did enjoy it, although he didn’t understand it.
    How long did it take?

    The composing took about 20 minutes
    The lyrics took about 20 minutes (coinciding at times with the music composing)
    The video took another 30 minutes
    The mixing and recording of vocals took another 25 minutes or so.
    This, over the course of two days, and not all at once, either.

    Take care

  3. Nice job Kevin,
    I am always excited about seeing what can happen in the PC world. I think the Mac world is easier but the quality for this piece is wonderful and inspirational. I am planning to clean off the cobwebs on my PC and break into Photo Story 3 with all the bells and whistles I can bring to the project. I am gearing up for my DS and beyond course for May that will be located in a pc lab, so get ready. I’ll be knockin’ on your window.

  4. Beautiful lyrics. I’m very impressed. Imagine what our linguistic / musical multiple intelligences students could do with a project like this. Thanks for not being afraid to share!

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